The era of transnational sport migration (TSM) has been one of heady celebration, seemingly free movement across borders, and lucrative business. The predominant (and outmoded) models of sport migration currently ignore state controls of migration. This paper brings the state back into analyses of TSM and looks at strategies migrants have used to skirt governmental attempts to control their movements. Understanding the issues surrounding state constructions of national citizenship is essential - both for this paper but also for migrants themselves in order to manipulate these controlling mechanisms to work in their favour. After identifying classificatory themes for determining national and professional status, this paper draws on examples that highlight states' attempts to control the movements of sport professionals. Using a combination of ethnographic material gathered over the past decade along with interviews and investigative reports, this article argues that an updated theory for understanding transnational sport migration must incorporate and reflect the actual experiences, routes and roots of TSM and the multiple forces that contour these processes.
- sport migration